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A new report takes a closer look at who is earning low wages in Ontario today. The Wellesley Institute, a respected non-governmental organization, examined data from Statistics Canada for the years 2003 to 2011 and found:
The share of Ontario workers earning the minimum wage has doubled since 2003 from 4.3 to 9 per cent.
Young workers, between the ages of 15 and 24, are much more likely to be making the minimum wage than older workers.
However, 40 per cent of minimum wage earners are 25 years of age and older.
Women, racialized workers and recent immigrants are more likely to be working for minimum wage.
Another 1 million workers earn slightly more, between $10.25 and $14.25 an hour.
60 per cent of this group are 25 years of age and older.
Minimum wage earners and those workers who earn slightly more account for 25 per cent of the workforce.
Put another way, one out of four Ontario workers earns poverty-level or below poverty-level wages.
Raising the minimum wage would raise the floor for all Ontario workers
Click here for the 12-page report.
The Ontario government has appointed a panel to advise it on a minimum wage increase. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas will give a presentation to the panel at community consultations in Kingston on November 6.
The Provincial Young Workers Committee endorsed the Raise the Minimum wage campaign on June 24.